Life is easy when everything is going our way, but when we get that call from the emergency room and it’s our loved one…

I pleaded with the Lord through my tears as I drove from Campobello to Pelham to find out what was going on with my mommy. Yes, my mommy. Not just my mom, but MY MOMMY. Yes, I reminded Him of His sweet love for His own dear mother, and I realized how cold and impersonal pain can be when it is “close but not that close”. I realized that my prayers on behalf of others had not been as heartfelt and loving as they could have been, and I repented not as some manipulative deal with the Lord to get my way, but as a very personal and revealing realization about what my faith, my love, even my trust in the Lord comes down to when my back is against the wall. And I was humbled, oh was I humbled.

And the Lord was there the whole time. He had a plan and a purpose, and my mom, dad, and I spent time talking together in that ER room like we haven’t talked in a long time. And those were precious hours, not because they were final hours, because mom will be discharged soon. But because the busy hum of life slowed down long enough to remind us about so many important things.

I had so many pastor friends praying for us tonight and genuinely concerned about what we were going through. They were ready to leave their families to come to the hospital to be with me and mine. And having been on their side of it, having ministered to beloved friends over the past several years when they were in the hospital – I was now on the other side for the first time, and I saw how much comfort and peace came from not being in this “alone”. And they won’t get any awards or great accolades for taking those late night calls, for wetting the floor with their heartfelt prayers on behalf of others, nor do I think any of them would want them. But I’m so grateful for them, and I hope that you too are sowing into and building relationships with folks who won’t run and hide when the wolves come, but who will stand and fight – on their knees, and with arms wide open, and with shoulders to cry on, and hugs to envelope you.

I’m so thankful that my mom’s walking out of that emergency room was not contingent upon me “having enough faith” because when Hambone text me back asking if there was anything I needed as I drove tearfully towards the hospital, I answered truthfully, “I need more faith. Lord, heal my unbelief!” I’m thankful that Christ is suffering and that He is good whether He is giving or taking away. I don’t know why in one case a family faces absence from their loved one and another finds healing. I’m just not smart enough to have it all figured out. But I was praising Him and singing His name as I drove on, so there was some deep seated trust coming from a place that I can’t take credit for myself.

You see, I wasn’t alone in the valley — I never was alone. He has always been with me, since the beginning. I may have not listened to Him at times, and I may have even acted as His enemy and played the role of the Prodigal son worthy of an academy award — but He has always been faithful and true.

Thank you, Lord, for giving my mommy more time to love and serve you by continuing to live and serve others — driven by the same Holy Spirit you have placed, ignited, stirred in me. We are in awe of you, mighty God, Good Father, Holy Holy Holy. Amen.